Sparling mourned by Western community

The Western community is mourning the death of David Sparling, Ivey Business School professor emeritus and Ontario agriculture champion, who died after a 22-month battle against brain cancer on Sunday, July 31. He was 64.

Sparling’s working life began on a farm in Cambridge, Ont., where he operated a broiler chicken business. He soon became restless and returned to school; he never looked back.

Graduating from Queen’s University, Sparling worked as a professor and associate dean at the University of Guelph before coming to Western. At Ivey Business School, he was Chair of Agri-Food Innovation, where he influenced Ontario agriculture policy and practice by working alongside academia, government and industry focused on the agri-food sector. He traveled the world teaching agri-business executives and operators of large-scale farms.

Sparling is survived by his wife, Jane Kersell; four children, Beth (David Lee), Laura (Jeff Newberry), Julie and Cameron; and grandchildren, George Lee and Hudson Newberry.

Donations may be made to the Juravinski Cancer Centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre or the David Sparling Scholarship Fund at the Ivey Business School.

Memories and condolences may be left at the Circle of Life website.